Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cheered out of despair

While I despair at the state of our country and the world generally and about our appallingly conducted lead up to our Federal election, I am kept buoyed by some really good things that happen in the world.

Does Spain have provinces or states or just regions? No matter, Catalonia in Spain has banned the barbaric spectator sport of bullfighting. From little acorns grow.

Better still, before this bull was killed (why?), he wreaked some havoc on spectators. Apart from the children who were being indoctrinated into cruelty to animals, I am pleased to hear some adults were hurt. That'll learn 'em.

While we now have increasing numbers of whales and dolphins visiting Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay, I was quite chuffed to hear that a whale has given birth to a calf in Tasmania's Derwent River estuary for the first time since 1820 (that would be a stat to query if I was keen).

While we may be doing eff all in response to climate change, river water quality has improved immensely in Australia.

Melbourne's Yarra River has improved as has the water quality in our Port Phillip Bay. Hobart's Derwent River has improved. Next step, the quite toxic Sydney Harbour and possibly the Parramatta River.

For goodness sake NSW government, you must be doing something significant. Oh, changing a railway line so that a tram can run on it. Finally doing something with the terribly vandalised trams stored at the old Rozelle Depot. I am pleased to hear that the railway clearways project has fixed up Sydney trains!!! Smart new trains? Overbudget and delayed. You hand out maintenance contracts for them for forty years??? Oh! As exasperated as I get about Victoria, moving to New South Wales clearly won't solve anything.

Proof positive that something is happening in NSW. Photo by Tim Boxsell.


  1. Actually Andrew, I think Sydney Harbour was significantly cleaned up during Bob Carr's premiership. I'm not sure if it can be described as toxic now but then again I don't go down to drink from it either.

    Sydney's rail networks seem to be shut down for maintenance every other weekend so something must be happening there but whatever it is does not amount to the many promised new lines. I wonder what happened to the much advertised but now never heard about untangling of the lines to provide improved services? Must have been quietly shelved mid-untangling.

    As for trams, the current state government has consistently been anti light rail. One of their latest excuses against introducing them was that you couldn't have trams crossing intersections. Presumably trams in Melbourne never cross any intersections!

  2. I turned the TV OF OFF OFF as soon as I glimpsed the bull, and I skimmed over your para as soon as I realised what it was about. I avoid Middle Child and Bless The Weather because they are always talking about shocking things happening to animals and I cannot stand it.
    I never buy Spanish olive oil.
    Mexico has bullfights too, and don't get me started on the filthy lying disgusting chinese.
    They have a circus with a lion on a horse. bastards.
    Australians could destroy China by not buying all their crappy plastic shit and clothes made by little kids.

  3. Anonymous4:10 pm

    Andrew, I suppose it's only natural to feel pessimistic on Election Day. After all, do things actually change for the better with a change of faces?

    Talking of trains we do have a bad habit of closing down many London Tube train lines at the weekend for repairs and such things. And just when weekenders and tourists want to get about.

    We're getting a little bit of your Election coverage on tv, but it's looking more like a personality contest.


  4. Not sure about the present state of the harbour Victor, except you don't want eat fish hooked in it.

    Re the untangling, that is the clearways project. It is still happening. I paste, As part of the Rail Clearways Program, the Revesby Turnback was completed in 2008 and the Kingsgrove to Revesby Quadruplication project is due for completion in 2013. Together, the Revesby Turnback and the Kingsgrove to Revesby Quadruplication (under construction) will provide additional capacity for train services.

    Trams crossing Sydney intersections was partly responsible for them being canned. Police on points duty were obliged to give priority to trams and they did, to the detriment of car traffic. Tram congestion at city intersections also played a part. As for trams not being able to cross intersections, what nonsense.

    Ann, I never watch cruelty to animals on tv. What I saw was a victorious bull taking revenge, but still he met a nasty end. It will take more than just Aus to stop buying Chinese products. We have to think practically about what will work.

    Indeed David, the Tube is often shut down. I watch from afar. But it is good. Things are being improved. It is ongoing, as it should be. This is our weirdest election that I have experienced. The rules have gone.